Impact Shakers
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Impact Shakers

Startup to Impact Invest — Part 3 — Angel Investment Groups

Do you have a higher budget available to support impactful projects? Then you can consider joining one of these angel investment groups.

Angel investing is an excellent way to start making sizable returns while doing good and supporting a founder’s journey. Starting as an individual angel investor requires a deep understanding of business in general as well as of the specific domain. For most of us, it’s more interesting to team up with like-minded angel investors and pool expertise and resources to create an even bigger impact.

Check out these 10 angel groups below:

Green Angel Syndicate

London, UK

Green Angel Syndicate is a network of smart investors who are committed to the transition to a greener economy supporting early-stage technology companies developing products and solutions for more efficient and sustainable use of global resources.

Why Green Angel Syndicate?

Green Angel Syndicate seeks to recruit members, employees and investee companies from all sectors of society. This is because the impacts of climate change affect all sectors of society, and also because through different perspectives and insights they can identify a wider range of options for successful business development. They believe that Diversity and Inclusion help promote more effective commercial growth. In November 2020 they also launched an EIS/SEIS Climate Change Fund.

Green Angel Syndicate in a nutshell

  • Green Angel Syndicate’s membership includes investors with various different professional backgrounds who have a diverse range of expertise and specialisms with a desire to take action in the fight against climate change.
  • ​​The most active members form a core group called the Associates. The Associates volunteer their time to help in the assessment and selection of the right deals, and in the rigorous due diligence process that has earned Green Angel Syndicate its reputation for excellence.
  • To become a Green Angel Syndicate member, you must be a High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) or Certified Sophisticated Investor as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom.

Next Wave Impact

Denver, US

Next Wave is a movement to increase diversity in angel investing and high growth entrepreneurship as well as to drive impact, diversity and inclusion in early stage investing and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Why Next Wave?

Next Wave is working through an innovative learning-by-doing progressive fund model. Their current global fund has 99 women investors, 25 of them women of color, which is led by an experienced investment committee of ten women. They have built a portfolio of 15 companies where 100% of the companies are led by women and people of color.

Next Wave in a nutshell

  • They provide extensive investor education to train a new generation of angel investors focused on both social impact and financial returns and are investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs
  • Before investing in a company, the Next Wave’s syndication committee and the network determine if the social/environmental impact is core to the companies’ business models and if there is sufficient existing interest amongst Next Wave’s syndicate members to proceed with a collective investment.
  • The median investment by the syndicate per company is $120 000, while the median investment by the Leads is $10 000 by the syndicate.

HERmesa

London, UK

The HERmesa is an angel syndicate for both new, and experienced, early-stage investors to give women a seat at the table to invest in extraordinary women (co)founded startups.

Why HERmesa?

Founded by a truly diverse cohort of operators turned angel investors, HERmesa brings to the table nearly 100 years of start-up experience. They do things differently by providing women — and interested men — with a unique ‘learn by doing’ approach to angel investing. HERmesa also embraces the “Diversity Dividend”: the financial benefits that come from supporting diverse entrepreneurs and bringing diverse perspectives into the investment decision.

HERmesa in a nutshell:‍

  • They offer a low minimum ticket size (£2k) that allows new investors to learn hands-on and quickly construct a portfolio.
  • HERmesa provides a solid educational framework to its members via webinars and case studies, delivered by experienced angels.
  • HERmesa members allocate a minimum of £10k over one year to dedicate to angel investing and will only invest if one of their members who has relevant sector expertise champions the deal.
  • The goal is to make approximately 5 investments in the first 12–18 months of HERmesa membership.

LUMUS

Prague, CZ

LUMUS is a place where female angel investors meet startups from Central Europe. We are an initiative that educates, supports, and connects women to investment opportunities in the CEE region.

Why LUMUS?

LUMUS educates women that want to learn about (angel) investing, supports women who do angel investing and connects them all with the best early-stage startups from Central Europe. They connect female angel investors with early-stage startups allowing their members to access deals that would be otherwise accessible only to institutional investors.

LUMUS in a nutshell

  • The minimum ticket size is €5,000 per investment per angel investor
  • LUMUS supports both, male and female founders, and is sector agnostic, with a check size between 50,000 and 200,000 EUR.
  • For each deal, they form a special purpose vehicle (SVP) that allows the group of investors to invest as one legal entity with a clear investment thesis, and defined rights and obligations.

Cornerstone Partners

London, UK

Cornerstone Angel Network is an investment platform for individuals to invest in curated SEIS/EIS opportunities led by black and diverse founders in the UK.

Why Cornerstone Partners?

Cornerstone Partners focuses on investing in black and diverse businesses out of a desire to empower and create more diversity in the UK business market. They believe superior returns can be delivered by leveraging the inherent competitive advantage of diverse teams and our aim is to uncover them.

Cornerstone Partners in a nutshell

  • They provide curated investment opportunities into pre-seed and seed-stage businesses across the UK led by black and diverse founders.
  • Their platform provides a unique opportunity for beginners and experts alike to build a diversified SEIS/EIS portfolio of fast-growing UK startups and invest alongside Cornerstone, a leading angel syndicate.
  • They offer three tiers of Membership — Private, Premium and Professional
  • SEIS/EIS investment opportunities, Networking events and Discounted e-learning are available at the lowest tier and further services include live pitching sessions, premium benefits ranging from discounted co-working to travel, entertainment and tailored lifestyle experiences, investor dinners and concierge services.

Gaingels

New York, US

Gaingels is a leading LGBTQIA+/Allies investment syndicate, and one of the largest and most active private investors in North America dedicated to supporting diversity in leadership at all levels within the venture capital ecosystem. Gaingels co-invests with select venture capital leads in companies resolved on building diverse and inclusive teams.

Why Gaingels?

Gaingels’ mission is to foster social change through business and create a more diverse, inclusive and accessible venture ecosystem at all levels of leadership. They do this by ensuring that diverse and underrepresented (including LGBTQ+) leaders of high-growth companies have access to capital.

Gaingels in a nutshell

  • The Gaingels Network welcomes membership applications from Accredited Investors who are interested in helping advance our mission to advance social change through outstanding investments.
  • Members are expected to support the portfolio companies with connections, introductions, and advice as well as to help bring new members (especially from communities underrepresented in the venture ecosystem). Their community also actively refers and suggests venture-led investment opportunities for consideration and support by the network, through our Venture Scout program.
  • Those who are not accredited investors can also join the community via a ‘Social Membership” which allows participating in social events, ecosystem trips and having access to a job portal and newsletters.

Rising Tide Africa

Lagos, Nigeria

Rising Tide Africa (RTA) is a unique, trans-border women-oriented investment network funded by private investors who believe that they will bring about positive change by investing in the continent’s exciting start-ups and next generation to create a New Africa. RTA engages in educating and training women to become sophisticated angel investors through its activities while offering them the opportunity to build a diversified portfolio of investments and receive mentoring from experienced Angel investors.

Why Rising Tide Africa?

Rising Tide Africa is creating an impact across Africa by providing access to capital, directly and indirectly, supporting and strengthening their managerial teams through strategic and business advice, enhancing corporate governance, financial reporting, and transparency, creating synergies and business development opportunities by leveraging their extensive network throughout Africa, and globally as well as by providing education and mentoring.

Rising Tide Africa in a nutshell

  • RTA organises a bi-annual event where entrepreneurs who are investment-ready are invited to pitch their businesses to angel investors, with the possibility of securing investments and/or mentoring opportunities afterwards.
  • They provide a de-risked and enriching investment experience in early-stage companies with high growth potential in Africa. The key focus of this network is on early-stage startups entrepreneurs that are primarily female-owned, female-led or with a gender-diverse leadership and management team.
  • To become a Rising Tide Africa member, you are required to invest ₦300,000.00 at first and then ₦200,000.00 per year into the fund and that money will be distributed across all deals that the network makes.

Conduit Connector Invest Platform

London, UK

Launched in 2018, the Conduit Connect exists to scale innovative impact technologies and businesses that are solving some of the most challenging and critical issues of our time. They do this by connecting world-class entrepreneurs and fund managers to values-aligned impact investors and experts.

Why Conduit Connect?

The Conduit Connect sources and connects the most promising high growth impact investing opportunities to mission-aligned investors. They have supported 90+ early-stage ventures that are building scalable, for-profit, impact-driven businesses to capital and resources.

Conduit Connect in a nutshell

  • Conduit Connect reviews hundreds of impact deals per year through a five-step diligence process and they have also been reviewed by their regulatory partner, Prospect Capital to select the most sustainable and investable opportunities with environmental and social impact at their core.
  • As an investor, you can choose from a tiered membership structure providing access to different levels of services.
  • Conduit Connect investor members become part of an ecosystem that enables impact investment, including access to a portfolio of vetted direct investments and funds, peer-to-peer roundtables, pitch events and mentor days, bespoke impact investing and due diligence training, syndication opportunities and curated sustainable products.

Bangladesh Angels

Dhaka, Bangladesh

​​Bangladesh Angels is the country’s first angel investing platform, founded with a mission to elevate the country’s startup entrepreneurs to the highest level. Registered as an independent, not for profit company, it is a collaborative endeavour bringing together the leaders in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and global partners — who share a passion to create value and growth for the startups.

Why Bangladesh Angels?

They aim to fill the early-stage financing gap and provide advisory support to startups, the network engages in multiple activities towards this end. Their members include a blend of individual investors, family offices, corporate and global investors. The network looks to invest in deals across all sectors. In addition to funding, the network will also provide high quality mentoring and access to networks and strategic support to the portfolio companies.

Bangladesh Angels in a nutshell

  • Investors can join by indicating their desire to become a Member of the Network through the website or by getting referred by an existing member of Bangladesh Angels
  • While no minimum investment commitment is sought from members, as a broad guideline, it is expected that members will invest in the region of Taka 10 lakhs per annum and more.
  • Around 25% of their portfolio companies are female-focused, female-led, or have a female co-founder. They are also looking to support and invest in more impact-focused companies.

SWAN Impact Network

Dripping Springs, US

SWAN is one of the fastest-growing impact angel networks in the US with chapters in both Austin and Dallas. Their membership includes angels from across the country and they invest in companies from across the US.

Why SWAN?

SWAN recognizes that women and people of color startup founders have been under-funded by the startup investment community, therefor half of their investments have gone to these under-represented founders.

SWAN in a nutshell

  • SWAN works hard to ensure that new angels become comfortable with impact investing via dedicated learning programs before deciding to make an initial investment.
  • There is no required investment minimum. SWAN angels only invest when they get comfortable with and really excited by a company applicant.
  • SWAN requires an annual membership fee from the members to support its operations.
  • They regularly organise pitching events and showcase current investment opportunities on a dedicated platform, dealum.com.

This is not investment advice. The content of this article is intended for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer or recommendation to purchase or participate in any investment solutions.

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Yonca Braeckman

Yonca Braeckman

Impact ecosystem builder and misfit champion